Opening Up

Are you the kind of person who holds a grudge? Learn how to let it go.

Are you the kind of person who holds a grudge? I’m happy to say, I’m not. Sure, I get mad at people sometimes. I’m only human. But I learned a lesson a long time ago from my husband, Peter, that it’s better to talk about things that are bothering you than to let them fester inside.

It was early in our relationship, and I had moved to Holland to live with Peter in my mid-20s. Those first few months together were a roller coaster ride. Peter and I had known each other for two years when we made the decision to live together, but much of our courtship had been through letters (remember those?). We’d visited each other back and forth across the Atlantic a few times, but moving over there with two suitcases and my dog was an adventure like none I’d ever experienced.

Holland was a strange land. For starters, the weather was crazy. I arrived in June after taking a year’s sabbatical from my teaching job (just to be on the safe side). Summer in Holland was nothing like here in Virginia Beach. It was cool, cloudy, and rainy. I missed the sun and the heat and the beach and my friends and my family—and the list went on.

So during the first weeks, I retreated into myself and wouldn’t—or couldn’t—share my feelings with Peter. It can be hard to open up to others, especially when you’ve never learned how. Talking about feelings wasn’t really done in my family, so we kept them to ourselves.

Well, Peter didn’t like that. He persuaded me to open up, and slowly I became more comfortable talking about difficult topics, like fear and sadness and anger. I’m so thankful for that. I learned how much better you feel when you don’t have things gnawing at you inside. Sharing your problems with your friend or partner is the best way to find solutions. At the very least, just getting your thoughts off your chest makes you feel lighter somehow.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this month, I’m thankful I learned this lesson early in life. I hope you have a trusted friend you can share your feelings with. If not, find one! And don’t forget to count your blessings this month. Write them down and be amazed at how many things you have to be thankful for.

Thanks for all you do!

Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com
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